The global monoethylene glycol market was dominated by SABIC, The Dow Chemical Company, and Royal Dutch Shell Plc. – three companies that collectively held 29.3% of the market in 2014.
Despite the globally strong presence of these key players, a majority of the global production of monoethylene glycol is done by regional and local companies. This creates a highly fragmented and highly competitive market where capacity expansion is the core standard for gaining market share.
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According to a new publication released by Transparency Market Research, the competitive edge in the global market for monoethylene glycol is expected to remain very sharp over the coming years, due to the sheer number of regional players that globally prominent producers have to compete with.
The threat of new entrants is expected to remain low till 2023, owing to the high level of regulatory control, the currently intense competition in the market, and the high capital required to create a sustainable business.
In terms of revenue, the global market for monoethylene glycol is expected to expand at a CAGR of 6.1% within a forecast period from 2015 to 2023. The revenue is expected to reach US$26.93 bn by the end of 2016 and US$40.84 bn by the end of 2023.
The volume of monoethylene glycol produced in the world is expected to progress at a CAGR of 5.5% from 2015 to 2023.
APAC Demand for Monoethylene Glycol Soars
By 2023, 69% of the global production of monoethylene glycol is expected to be taken up by Asia Pacific. This region is a key consumer of monoethylene glycol mainly for the manufacture of polyester and PET.
Of the two key applications of monoethylene glycol given above, the manufacture of polyester fiber is expected to take up 55.1% of the total monoethylene glycol volume produced in 2023. Polyester is a highly common synthetic fiber used mainly due to its near imperviousness to weather conditions. The other key application of monoethylene glycol lies in the manufacture of PET, which is also witnessing a rise in use across emerging economies.
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High Polyester and PET Demand in Emerging Economies Spurs Monoethylene Glycol Production
“The two key applications of monoethylene glycol – polyesters and polyethylene terephthalate – are finding an enormous demand in emerging economies, especially from the Asia Pacific region,” states a TMR analyst. “These nations are showing a robust economic growth rate and it is reflecting on the higher disposable incomes of individuals. This has greatly improved the consumer goods sales in the region and directly impacting the growth of the packaging and textile industries, and in this case, the consumption of polyesters and PET.”
In contrast, the scope of growth of monoethylene glycol players is steadily reducing, owing to a saturated market, the oversupply of cheap imported MEG from emerging economies, and growing environmental concerns over use of plastics.
Feedstock Price Volatility Hampers Demand for Monoethylene Glycol
The raw materials required to produce monoethylene glycol come from crude oil, which is also used to derive other raw materials and fuel. The split demand for crude oil combined with its depleting reserves are creating a highly volatile costing for it, making it very difficult for producers of monoethylene glycol and other derivatives to procure sufficient amounts to sustain profitability.
“Producers of monoethylene glycol can now look towards opportunities in the production of bio-based monoethylene glycol, which uses ethanol derived from sugarcane rather than the conventional crude oil based chemicals. This not only helps reduce the unpredictability of raw material costs, but also helps significantly reduce the carbon emissions of a company,” states the analyst.